Making Science Make Sense Summer Teacher Workshop
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
By: Gary Itenson, Vice President of Membership and Marketing, Boy Scouts of America
We really appreciate Bayer and their “Making Science Make Sense” program. They have provided an extremely valuable program packed with activities that give youth the opportunity to actively explore science concepts. Instead of learning a list of facts and vocabulary, Science instruction has been shifting toward experiential education – hands on games, experiments, and activities that let youth explore, investigate, create, and expand on the knowledge presented on paper. In addition to learning science, they are practicing team building skills, leadership qualities, and effective communication. Other subjects like history, language arts, math, and even art are valuable tools used concurrently in exploring the natural world. Just as no man is an island, no one school subject stands alone, nor should it. This is why this type of learning and instruction is so valuable. Educators recognize this and are incorporating hands on experiential education more and more – in the classrooms and in supplemental youth activities like Scouting.
Magic of Science demo
The United States has recognized that it is falling behind in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. The Boy Scouts of America recognize that parents are looking for every edge for their children so they can hold their own in an ever increasingly competitive world. The BSA has realized that STEM can be a part of their program without sacrificing their traditional emphasis on Community, Citizenship, Athleticism, and the Great Outdoors. In fact, STEM is already found everything in the last 100 years of Scouting from practicing the physics of trying to make the fastest Pinewood Derby car, launching rockets, surviving and thriving in the outdoors, to conservation and ecology practicing treading lightly and leaving no trace when out in nature. It just wasn’t being discussed from a STEM perspective, we have left out the why and how.
Learning about the properties of matter
Scout leaders are grasping incorporating STEM into their lesson plans and activities. Just as classroom educators do, Den Leaders use a lot of valuable time and shrinking resources to find activities that best engage their Youth. The internet has made a lot of ideas more readily available, but not all experiments, instructions, and materials work like they are expected to in the real world. The Bayer Making Science Make Sense program has done the foot work finding the most applicable science experiments using the most useful AND cost effective materials and working out the bugs to provide flawless, engaging, non-daunting science that can be used to demonstrate nearly every learning objective imaginable. Also the peer to peer connections that this course has provided is a valuable resource, thank you for that as well.
Gary Itenson / Vice President of Membership and Marketing
Boys Scouts of America